The heat of summer can make it tough to get up and moving, but the biologists with the Upper Snake Region of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game are hoping that things cool done enough on July 9th so that hunters and anglers will come out and get involved in discussions about future management of fishing on the South Fork of the Snake River and early Canada goose and sandhill cranes seasons in the region. The fisheries meeting will take place at the Lodge at Palisades Creek in Swan Valley and the goose meeting will be held at Fish and Game's regional office in Idaho Falls. The fish meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. and the goose meeting runs from noon until 6:30 p.m. According to Regional Wildlife Manager Curtis Hendricks, "The Wildlife Bureau from the Upper Snake Region will be holding an open house comment opportunity for the public to come and discuss any questions, concerns, or other matters related to early goose and crane seasons in the Upper Snake." While biologists are glad to meet face to face, public comments either over the phone, email, or walk-in comments throughout the comment period that ends on July 22, 2015. Goose comments can be directed to Curtis Hendricks at 208-525-7290 or email@example.com. According to Regional Fishery Manager Dan Garren, "Biologists will be presenting current information on population status and trends in the South Fork as well as the management program for the river and the challenges commonly faced when implementing management direction." There will be time for questions and answers following the program. Those unable to attend can contact Dan Garren at 208-525-7290 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Information and a survey relating to the presentation can accessed at http://tinyurl.com/USmeetings, comment period for changes ends on August 31, 2015.
Harvest of adult Chinook salmon 24 or more inches in length in the upper Salmon River from the mouth of the Pahsimeroi River upstream to the posted boundary approximately 100 yards downstream of the weir and trap at the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery near Stanley will close at the end of fishing hours Sunday, July 5. Angler surveys indicate that sport anglers will have harvested the sport fishery harvest share of hatchery Chinook salmon returning to the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery by 10 p.m. (MDT) Sunday, July 5. Harvest of jack salmon (those under 24 inches) will continue to be allowed on upper Salmon River until further notice. Anglers may harvest up to 4 adipose-clipped Chinook salmon under 24 inches per day on this river. Any salmon 24 inches or longer must be immediately released. Anglers harvesting four jacks in a day or having 12 jacks in possession must discontinue fishing.
Idaho Fish and Game will close fishing for Chinook salmon on the South Fork Salmon River at the end of fishing hours Friday, July 3. Angler surveys indicate that sport anglers will have harvested the non-tribal share of hatchery Chinook salmon returning to the South Fork Salmon River by 10 p.m (MDT) Friday, July 3. Chinook salmon seasons continue on the Clearwater River upstream of the Orofino Bridge, South Fork Clearwater, Middle Fork Clearwater, Lochsa, Snake, upper Salmon, and Boise rivers. Changes to the Chinook season and limits may occur on short notice. Anglers can stay current on the changes by visiting Fish and Game's Salmon page at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/fish/chinook/rules, or by calling the Salmon Hotline at 1-855-287-2702.
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will meet July 29 and 30 at Fish and Game's Southeast Regional office, 1345 Barton Road in Pocatello. A public hearing will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 29. Anyone who wants to address the commission on any topic having to do with Fish and Game business may do so at the public hearing. All testimony will be taken into consideration when the commission makes decisions on agenda items at the meeting. Routine agenda items include rules for all game animals; nonresident deer and elk tag quotas; nonresident deer and elk tag outfitter set-aside; release of bighorn sheep tags for auction and lottery; expenditure of animal damage control and wolf control funds; legislative proposals as well as a migratory game birds briefing. Commissioners also will consider proposed seasons for mourning doves, Sandhill crane, fall Chinook salmon, and a proposal to approve the Department's Columbian sharp-tailed grouse management plan. A complete agenda will be posted on the Fish and Game website when it becomes available. Individuals with disabilities may request meeting accommodations by contacting the Idaho Department of Fish and Game director's office at 208-334-5159 or through the Idaho Relay Service at 1-800-377-2529 (TDD).
Summer is a great time for the entire family to enjoy Idaho's outdoors. For many, that includes the family dog. While hiking with your pet is a great way to enjoy time on the trail, it also increases the chance of an unexpected conflict with wildlife. Idaho Fish and Game reminds dog owners that their loving pet can be harmful to area wildlife, especially upland game birds and even deer fawns. Even the most well-mannered dog can give in to the temptation to chase another animal when the opportunity arises. To avoid potential conflicts, the best solution is to be a responsible dog owner and leash your pet when hiking. Doing so will help make summer safer for you, your pet, and the wildlife you may encounter along the trail. Wildlife comes equipped with teeth, claws and hooves that can seriously injure or kill your pet. In addition, a dog that chases young wildlife may end up being chased by a protective parent right back to you. Fish and Game has received numerous recent reports of dogs harassing young upland game birds. Dogs don't have to kill birds to be considered a problem. Often just separating the young from their parents for a short time can lead to their death. Earlier this spring, Fish and Game also received several deer fawns injured by dogs. With many recreationists and their dogs planning to enjoy Idaho's outdoors this summer, numerous conflicts can arise when the nearby woods hold a bounty of young wildlife.
Eight hunters will win the opportunity of a lifetime to hunt through Idaho's second Super Hunt drawing. Entries for two elk, two deer, and two pronghorn hunts along with one moose hunt will be drawn, as well as a "Super Hunt Combo" that will entitle the winner to hunt for all four species - elk, deer, pronghorn and moose. Entries in the second drawing must be received at the Fish and Game headquarters by August 10, with the drawing set for mid-August. With every entry in Fish and Game's Super Hunt drawings, hunters get a chance at winning the hunt of a lifetime, and their entry fee helps assure hunter and angler access to and across private lands. Winners can participate in any open hunt in the state for deer, elk, pronghorn or moose, including general hunts and controlled hunts, in addition to any general season or controlled hunt tags they also hold. All other rules of individual hunts apply. Super Hunt entries are $6 each and Super Hunt Combo entries are $20 each. No license is needed to enter either drawing and there is no limit to the number of entries. Hunters may enter the drawings at license vendors, Fish and Game offices, on the Internet at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/buy_online or by calling 800-554-8685. Entries can also be mailed to Fish and Game License Section, P.O. Box 25, Boise, ID 83707. Orders must be received at Fish and Game no later than August 10. For more information on Idaho's Super Hunts, go to http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/superhunt or visit the Super Hunt Facebook page at www.facebook.com/#!/pages/SuperHunt-Idaho/171792339534643.
Q: A friend of mine told me that Idaho's residency requirements for hunters 65 years of age or older has changed from five years to six months to obtain reduced prices on licenses and tags. Is this true? A: Yes. Beginning July 1, 2015, the residency requirements for obtaining reduced priced senior licenses changes from five years to six months. Idaho hunters ages 65 or older that have lived in Idaho at least six months and have met all other residency requirements may purchase a senior combination license and tags at reduced senior prices. All other residency requirements still apply. This new law brings consistency to the residency requirement for obtaining fishing and hunting licenses in Idaho.
Our visitors from Houston last week didn't think the 100-plus degree days in northern Idaho were all that uncomfortable. Their contention is that 85 degrees with 90 percent humidity is worse. They may be right, but if you want to escape the record setting heat of 2015, a hike to a high mountain lake may be a good way to be outdoors and comfortable at the same time. The window of opportunity to visit high elevation lakes is relatively small. Some years, northern Idaho alpine lakes are frozen into July. The trails to them can be deep in snow by mid-October. A mild winter and early spring have most high elevation lakes in northern Idaho open and available for fishing. The fishing and the scenery are well worth the effort needed to get there. There are over 3,000 mountain lakes in Idaho. Some are too small and shallow to hold fish. More than half of mountain lakes in Idaho are left fishless to maintain natural conditions for native amphibians. More than 1,300 Idaho alpine lakes contain stocked fish or naturally reproducing populations of fish. Mountain lake fish stocking on a significant scale first started in the early 1900's and was done by horseback. Aerial stocking saved time and money and started in the 1950's. Milk jugs full of water and fish were used for transporting fish into the backcountry lakes. People still occasionally find a jug in shallow water that was accidently dropped or fell out of a pannier. In early fish and wildlife management, the importance of maintaining pure native strains was not widely recognized. Although most of the species historically stocked were native to Idaho, they were not always native to the drainage they were stocked in.
Personnel from Fish and Game's McCall and Nampa Hatcheries will be releasing more than 29,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout at the following locations during July. Location - Week Stocked - Number of Trout - Boise River, above Glenwood Bridge - July 13, 27 - 1,440/1,440 - Boise River, below Glenwood Bridge - July 13, 27 - 1,080/1,080 - Boise River, Middle Fork - July 13 - 2,000 - Boise River, North Fork - July 6, 20 - 2,000/2,000 - Bull Trout Lake (Grandjean) - July 6 - 900 - Bull Trout Lake #1, Little (Grandjean) - July 6 - 750 - Bull Trout Lake #2, Little (Grandjean) - July 6 - 200 - Crooked River (Idaho City) - July 6 - 1,000 - Grimes Creek (Idaho City) - July 6 - 1,000 - Lowman (10-mile) Ponds - July 6 - 600 - Marsing Pond - July 6 - 450 - Martin Lake (Grandjean) - July 6 - 1,000 - Mores Creek (Idaho City) - July 6 - 1,000 - Payette River, Middle Fork - July 6, 20 - 750/750 - Silver Creek (Crouch) - July 6, 20 - 750/750 - Warm Lake (Cascade) - June 29 - 7,200 - Wilson Springs (Nampa) - July 6, 20 - 250/250 - Wilson Springs Ponds (Nampa) - July 6, 20 - 400/400 The number of trout actually released may be altered by weather, water conditions, equipment problems or schedule changes. If delays occur, trout will be stocked when conditions become favorable.
A second round of Chinook salmon will arrive in the Boise River on Friday, June 26. Idaho Fish and Game expects around 120 adult and 40 jack salmon will be released sometime after noon, spread across the Glenwood, West Parkcenter Bridge, and Barber Park release sites. Besides a fishing license, anglers need a salmon permit. Anglers will be allowed to keep two Chinook salmon per day, regardless of size. The possession limit will be six salmon, regardless of size. Jack salmon - those less than 24 inches - do not need to be carded but count towards your daily bag limit. Adult salmon - those 24 inches or longer - must be recorded on an angler's salmon permit. Anglers are allowed to harvest 20 adult Chinook salmon statewide during 2015 salmon seasons occurring prior to September 1. Fishing hours for Chinook salmon on the Boise River is permitted 24 hours per day and barbless hooks are not required. The season continues through September 30. With the Boise River floating season open, both anglers and floaters are encouraged to be courteous and respect each other.
The Idaho Fish and Game is seeking public feedback on proposed fishing seasons and rule changes for 2016-2018. Idaho fishing seasons and rules are developed for approval by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission every three years. Fish and Game has proposed a host of changes based on new information from biologists, and from public meetings and angler opinion surveys conducted earlier this spring. Anglers are invited to provide their opinions about the proposed changes by visiting Fish and Game's website at: https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content/public-involvement. All comments will be accepted through midnight August 31, 2015. "There are fishing seasons and rule changes proposed for every region of the state," Sport Fishing Coordinator Martin Koenig said. "Some proposals would increase limits and seasons, while some would be more restrictive. Other changes would help simplify complex rules on places like the Henrys Fork." Fish and Game will consider all opinions and comments before crafting final recommendations that will be submitted to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission at their November meeting. In addition to the website survey, anglers may provide their comments by e-mail to: email@example.com; or by mail to 2016-2018 Fish Season and Rule Comments, c/o Idaho Fish and Game, P.O. Box 25, Boise ID 83707. Idaho Fish and Game will also host open houses and public meetings across the state where anglers can speak directly with local biologists. Public meetings will be held at the following locations: - Coeur d' Alene - 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday, June 30, Panhandle Region Fish and Game Office, 2885 W. Kathleen Ave. - Lewiston - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday, June 30, Clearwater Region Fish and Game Office, 3316 16th Street. - Nampa - 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, 25, Southwest Region Fish and Game Office, 3101 S. Powerline Rd
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is seeking public input on proposed fishing season and rule changes for 2016-2018. Public scoping earlier in 2015 led to the development of season and rule change proposals across the state including the Panhandle Region. Proposed rule changes for the Panhandle Region include: - Reduce rainbow trout limit on Lake Pend Oreille to 2 fish, only 1 over - Change bait rule on Clark Fork River and tributaries and Pack River and tributaries to "no bait allowed from December 1 through Friday before Memorial Day Weekend" - Increase Kokanee limit on Spirit Lake to 25 - Increase minimum length on Largemouth Bass in Hayden Lake from 16 to 20 inches To gather public input, Fish and Game will host a public open house June 30th in Coeur d'Alene at the Panhandle Regional Office, 2885 W. Kathleen Avenue, between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Anyone interested in providing comment on proposed rule changes is welcome to attend. Anglers not able to attend the open house or anyone needing special accommodations are encouraged to contact Rob Ryan (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the IDFG Regional Office at 2885 W. Kathleen Avenue, Coeur d'Alene, by phone at (208) 769-1414, or through the Idaho Relay Service at 1 800 377 2529 (TDD). Opportunities to provide comment on season and rule changes statewide will also be available online at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov. Note: 2013-2015 fishing rules will remain in effect until the new rules become effective and a new brochure is 1 in 2016.
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